chapter  9
22 Pages

‘To Mourn’: Emotional Geographies and Natural Histories of the Canadian Arctic

ByEmilie Cameron

Mountains materialize time and patience rather than shape place and landscape. The winds are always on the move, across these steppes of central Asia where they find no barrier for thousands of miles. It is here that everything originates; this so empty steppe in Central Asia is the vortex from which the most momentous events of human history were driven. This steppe has become for you a world-historical site, the world-historical site from which there is more to understand than from any other. Looking across the steppe, you see that this, the highest country was visibly hoisted up by geological cataclysms: the great flat steppes visibly once gigantic lake beds drained as the vast south Asian continental plate ground its way under the Siberian continental plate wrinkling up all those mountains and bursting all these volcanoes. Botanists have identified 600 plant species in the Mongolian steppes, and are still counting.